How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Undocumented and afraid, part 2

Photo by Bryan Goseline/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Students taking in a lecture, October 2007

In my previous post, I explained my rationale in going forward with a young undocumented college student's story after he requested that he remain anonymous.

The student had sent an e-mail to KPCC through the station's Public Insight Network, which allows the public to confidentially share their personal stories related to topics in the news. I'd asked him if he would be willing to participate in a Q&A for the Multi-American blog. He agreed, but later asked if I could publish his answers without using his name.

I briefly wondered if I should simply find another student's story to publish, one of the many who are coming out about their immigration status as they campaign for the DREAM Act. But then, would passing on this wary kid in Claremont, and on his fear, mean passing on part of the story?

Read More...

Undocumented and afraid, part 1

Photo by Bryan Goseline/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Students taking in a lecture, October 2007

Much has been written lately about the college students who are coming out about their immigration status in support of the DREAM Act, proposed legislation that would allow undocumented students like themselves, or those who join the military, a path to legal status if they meet several criteria, including having arrived in the United States as minors under 16.

But for every one of those students, there are are many others who are afraid to come forward.

A couple of months ago, a colleague here at KPCC passed along an e-mail that came in response to immigration-related questions posed via the station's Public Insight Network, a project that gives the public a confidential way to share personal stories related to topics in the news. The e-mail, written by a young man in Claremont, caught my attention: He was a college student who had been here since childhood, he was undocumented, and he felt hopeless.

Read More...

What we talk about when we talk about profiling people in airports

Photo by amrufm/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A cheery group of travelers, the women in Muslim head scarves, or hijab, walks through an airport. April, 2009

Most of the reader comments that have flooded news sites since NPR's dismissal of news analyst Juan Williams last week, following a remark he made about Muslims during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," have been either about his comment or the network's decision to fire him.

But some people have taken Williams' remark - about becoming nervous when he got on a plane and saw people in "Muslim garb" - and provided their own opinions about the profiling of Muslims and others in airports. Some have posted comments about being profiled, others about doing the profiling. Here are a few excerpts from the past few days.

On the KPCC website under an audio clip from Friday's AirTalk program with Larry Mantle, which aired a segment Friday on the Williams incident, "Hargobind" posted:

Read More...

Opponents of a planned mosque protest in Temecula

If Temecula were a state, given the attention it is drawing lately, it could well be Arizona, albeit with wineries. In mid-July, the city drew clashing protesters when it adopted an anti-illegal immigration ordinance requiring businesses with more than one employee to screen workers using E-Verify, an otherwise voluntary online program provided by the federal government that allows employers to screen for immigration status and check Social Security numbers. It became the third city in the inland region, along with Lake Elsinore and Menifee, to adopt an E-verify policy as the region embraces anti-illegal immigration measures.

During a small protest that took place there this afternoon, however, the anger was not over undocumented immigrants or the rule of law, but over Muslims. In particular, those building a planned new Islamic mosque and cultural center near a Baptist church.

Read More...